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Investigation of High-Volume Crime (From Handbook of Criminal Investigation, P 226-254, 2007, Tim Newburn, Tom Williamson, and Alan Wright, eds. -- See NCJ-220829)

NCJ Number
Nick Tilley; Amanda Robinson; John Burrows
Date Published
29 pages
This chapter focuses on the detection of high-volume crimes in Great Britain, namely, burglaries and theft of and from motor vehicles.
Introductory remarks focus on the terms used to categorize and count crime detections in Great Britain, the challenges associated with detecting volume crimes compared with other types of crime, the significance of "crime mix" in shaping detection rates by area, and how crime rates have been related to crime-recording practices. This introductory discussion is followed by commentary regarding how the sheer numbers of high-volume crimes, coupled with limited resources for investigating them, have dictated what can be achieved. This has led to the development of criteria for determining the level and types of resources that will be assigned to a case based on the probability of a successful outcome. The chapter describes how resource-allocation decisions for high-volume crimes are made in practice. It lists 20 case characteristics of burglaries and thefts associated with motor vehicles that determine the likelihood of a suspect being identified and sufficient evidence being collected for an arrest and conviction. In practice, high-volume property crime detections follow mainly from catching offenders close to or at the crime scene due to prompt reporting following or during the crime; from conducting thorough initial investigations that result in information that yields a link to a suspect; or from collecting physical evidence left by the offender at the crime scene. These factors are associated with reactive policing. Proactive efforts to prevent and reduce opportunities and enticements for these high-volume crimes has widespread support. 8 tables, 2 figures, 15 notes, and 43 references